Where were you?
I was sitting in seventh-grade German class and I remember my teacher leaving class and joining a teacher huddle just outside our classroom door. Should they turn on the TV so we could watch the news, they wondered with each other.
I was eleven years old—too young to anticipate or comprehend how fundamentally our world would change because of that day, but old enough to feel the weight of universal despair, fear, and grief that descended on our country so quickly.
Where were you on September 11, 2001?
As you reflect on that day and the twenty years since, I invite you read the words of J. Herbert Nelson
, our denomination's Stated Clerk. And I invite you to join me in praying the following prayer, which was prayed by many of our brothers and sisters in faith ten years ago, as communities marked the ten-year anniversary of 9/11:
God of all creation,
our hearts are broken over the destruction and loss we remember at this anniversary.
And we acknowledge, O Lord,
that on that day of human carnage yours was the first heart to break.
In our remembering, may we stand with those who mourn
and those who cannot stop mourning.
In our remembering, may we find new comfort in your care.
In our remembering may we be drawn to a new hope for the whole world,
and may we gain for ourselves a measure of your peace.
You who can turn the shadow of night into the bright promise of a new day,
empower us to shape a world marked by ways of life
that lead to justice and peace for all peoples.
Fashion in us a people who are more ready
to grow in understanding than eager to judge those who are different from us.
Form us as a people determined to heal wounds rather than inflict them.
We pray at last that you would cultivate such love in us
that we may reach out in compassion to all those who are still wounded
by the events of that day;
and in seeking to heal others, may we experience a love that makes us whole.
This we pray in the strong name of Jesus our Christ. Amen
With great hope,